We are a group of women who pray in the mosque in Ramadan in a place that is isolated from the men so that they cannot see us and we cannot see them. I noticed that the sisters do not complete the front rows and do not make them straight, and some of them quoted as evidence the hadeeth of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in which he said: “The best rows for men are the front ones and the worst are the back ones, and the best rows for women are the back ones and the worst are the front ones.” I said to them that what this hadeeth refers to is when the women are praying behind the men without a barrier, but now the situation is different. Is what I said correct?.
Praise be to Allaah.
The hadeeth quoted is saheeh, but according to the scholars it is to be interpreted in the manner that you mentioned, which is when there is no barrier between the men and women. But if they are screened from the men, then the best rows are the front ones and the worst ones are the back ones, just as is the case with men, and they have to complete the front rows first, then the next and so on, and close the gaps, just like men, because of the general meaning of the proven hadeeth from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) concerning that. May Allah help us all to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (25/145)